Jayhawks in the Pros Notebook #3

June 14, 2007


During the course of the season kuathletics.com will check in with the 11 former Jayhawks who are currently playing in the professional ranks.

Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Mike Zagurski earned his first major league win last Thursday, pitching an inning of relief against the New York Mets. The 6-foot lefty has made nine appearances for Philadelphia since his May 25 call-up and is 1-0 with a 4.32 ERA and six strikeouts in 8.1 innings. Last weekend, Zagurski pitched in front of several hometown fans when the Phillies played in Kansas City.

Travis Metcalf was recalled to the majors by the Texas Rangers on Saturday and has made two appearances this week. Metcalf is still looking for his first big league hit and has a chance to do it against former Jayhawk Tom Gorzelanny tonight when the Rangers face Pittsburgh.

Tom Gorzelanny, meanwhile, has put together a solid first half of the season. The 6-foot-2 lefty is 6-3 for Pittsburgh this year with a 2.76 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 84.2 innings. Gorzelanny has gone at least six innings in each of his last three starts, including a season-high seven in a May 29 victory over the San Diego Padres.

Don Czyz continues to put up solid numbers for the Greensboro Grasshoppers, the single-A affiliate of the Florida Marlins. Czyz is 2-3 with a 3.32 ERA in 25 appearances this season. The former NCBWA Stopper of the Year earned his second win of the season on Tuesday, holding Lexington to one hit over two innings.

Sean Land has been on the disabled list since the end of April with the Beloit Snappers, the single-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. At the time of the injury, Land was 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA and a save in five appearances.

Gus Milner has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games for the Lakewood Blueclaws, the single-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. During the recent 10 game stretch, Milner is batting .333 with a double and eight RBIs. For the season, the former KU outfielder is batting .288 with 14 doubles, four homers and 34 RBIs in 61 games.

John Nelson continues to play a role for the Memphis Redbirds, the AAA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Nelson is batting .188 with five homers and 14 RBIs in 35 games for the Redbirds and seems to be platooning against left-handed pitching. The 6-foot-1 infielder is batting .265 in 34 at bats against southpaws this season.

Jared Schweitzer is a regular starter for the Swing of Quad Cities, the single-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. The 6-foot-1 second baseman is batting .282 with four homers and 14 RBIs in 31 games this season.

Another former Jayhawk in the Cardinals’ minor league system is A.J. Van Slyke, who has played in 45 games for the Palm Beach Cardinals. He is batting .270 with 10 doubles and a pair of home runs this season. In a doubleheader at Jupitor on Wednesday, Van Slyke went 4-for-6 with a double and an RBI.

Les Walrond has won his last five decisions for the Iowa Cubs, the AAA affliliate of the Chicago Cubs. In 13 starts this season, Walrond is 7-2 with a 4.66 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 77.1 innings. In his latest start against the Omaha Royals, the 6-foot-3 lefty scattered 10 hits over six innings to pick up the win.

Former Jayhawk Kyle Murphy (Texas Rangers) and underclassmen Zach Ashwood (Chicago Cubs), Erik Morrison (Pittsburgh Pirates) and Brock Simpson (Cleveland Indians) were all selected by major league teams in the first-year player draft.